Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Cornerstone Arts Week welcomes new voices, plus more events this week

Posted By on Wed, Jan 22, 2020 at 1:00 AM

  • Melanie Dunea

Cornerstone Arts Week

Jan. 27-31, Colorado College, 14 E. Cache La Poudre St., all events are free,

There are thousands of talented artists, musicians, writers and performers in Colorado Springs representing every age, gender and socioeconomic status. However, only a small number of these individuals will find their work shared in a public forum, or receive any recognition for their skills. Why do these select few find their way to the main stage while their equally talented counterparts languish in relative obscurity? It’s a question that Colorado College’s Cornerstone Arts Week will examine as part of this year’s theme, “Seeing 2020: Mind the Gap.”

Across multiple panels, exhibitions and performances, organizers hope that attendees will contribute to a dialogue about what defines art, who defines art and who art is ultimately for. Ryan Bañagale, director of performing arts at Colorado College, says that addressing the space — the gap — that exists between the favored and marginalized artistic communities is important.

“By acknowledging the existence of a gap, we can better understand how, where, when and why such discrepancies come to exist,” says Bañagale. “An important step in dissolving any inequality is recognizing that one is present — they are not always obvious, but they always need to be minded. Exploring this notion through the arts allows us the opportunity to do so in engaging and unexpected ways.” He notes that such attention can be paid to other areas of contemporary culture, as well.

Cornerstone Arts Week includes incredible performances, like a CC composer concert featuring the world premieres of several new compositions, and art exhibitions in the Fine Arts Center. There will also be a vocal master class taught by soprano Christina Martos and pianist Debra Ayers.

“Cornerstone Arts Week offers the opportunity to engage a wide range of artistic forms,” says Bañagale. “All are welcome to attend all events, but first-time attendees should not miss the opportunity to see our keynote artists in action: Kevin Young and Tanya Tagaq.”

Tagaq is a Canadian Inuk bestselling author, as well as a composer and improvisational singer. She will perform “Retribution” with her ensemble as a keynote performance on Wednesday, Jan. 29. Young is a poet, author and poetry editor for The New Yorker magazine and serves as the director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. He will provide a keynote address titled “Lift Every Voice!” on Wednesday, Jan. 29.

Local Great Minds: City Center Series

Jan. 22, 6-7:15 p.m., 825 N. Cascade Ave., $10-$25,

Colorado Springs is growing and so is the city’s need to innovate to accommodate its expanding populace. “Great Minds” is the first of a three-part City Center Series focused on exploring how the Pikes Peak region can tackle challenges like housing, sustainability and health care. Attendees will hear from local entrepreneurs and organizations that are part of shaping the future of the city through a series of lightning interviews emcee’d by local entrepreneur Russ Ware. Whether you are excited — or concerned — about the direction Colorado Springs is taking, this forum will help you gain new insights. (Disclosure: One speaker, Patience Kabwasa, is also an Indy columnist.)

  • Colton Pratt

Mobile Shakespeare

Jan. 24, 7-8:15 p.m., 20 W. Pikes Peak Ave., free,

Theatreworks presents the delightful tale of two sets of twins separated at birth and reunited in absurd fashion in Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors. One of the most accessible of the playwright’s works, The Comedy of Errors is a great introduction to classical theater, and its hilarity shines brightly through the “thees” and “thous” that sometimes discourage people from giving Shakespeare a whirl. The performance is an easy 75 minutes and the Pikes Peak Library District has deemed it appropriate for all audiences, so feel free to bring the whole clan for a dose of absurdity and culture.

Womxn's March

Jan. 25, 2-5 p.m., 221 E. Kiowa St.,

Join womxn of the Pikes Peak region and their allies for an afternoon of solidarity, celebration and forward momentum at the 2020 Colorado Springs Womxn’s March. This year, the event will open with a keynote address at Colorado Springs City Auditorium, followed by a march downtown led by indigenous women. After the march, attendees can make their way to an inspiring afterparty packed with performances and speeches by local womxn. You’ll also find local organizations who can help you make this day of momentum into a year of achievement in the name of diversity, equality and inclusion.

Linda and the Conservatory All-Stars

Jan. 26, 5 p.m., 10 S. Parkside Drive, $20-$25,

The Colorado Springs Conservatory has provided thousands of students with education in the performing arts. This Sunday, founder Linda Weise will welcome several of the institution’s most exceptional current students, alumni and faculty to take the stage at the Stargazer’s Theatre and show off their skills. Attendees can expect a variety of musical performances, including sets from local favorites Leo and the Lark, The Reminders and Joe Johnson. Proceeds from the evening support scholarships for the next generation of talented individuals waiting to take their shot in the performing arts.
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Wednesday, January 15, 2020

MLK Day celebrations at Colorado College, plus more events this week

Posted By on Wed, Jan 15, 2020 at 1:00 AM

  • Courtesy Colorado College

MLK Day Celebration

Jan. 20, breakfast at 8 a.m., rally at 10 a.m., 44 W Cache La Poudre St., free,

For 25 years, celebrants of the life and work of Martin Luther King Jr. have gathered together to honor the activist every year on the third Monday in January. The government holiday has been designated as “a day on, not a day off” in reference to the acts of service performed each year.
Colorado College will celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day with a day of events featuring an “All People’s Breakfast,” complete with speakers and performances, a march to a brief rally in Acacia Park, additional speakers, and an evening performance by the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble.

Frank Lytle, a member of the Colorado Springs NAACP, explains why it remains important to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“Dr. King was an activist and he was a pastor,” says Lytle. “He was both solidly nonviolent and revolutionary at the same time. He will forever be known as one of the world’s greatest orators and scholars, despite so many attempts to defame him.” Lytle says it is more important than ever to remember his message and pass it on to new generations.

Sit-down tables at the breakfast are sold out, but overflow seating may still be available, and folks can watch a live feed at Worner Center or find the stream on the college’s website. Attending at the Worner Center offers the added benefit of visiting exhibit tables which include voter registration, a U.S. Census table and opportunities to visit with the fraternity Kappa Alpha Psi.

“The most rewarding aspect is the opportunity to come together with so many community leaders, educators and organizational representatives to lift the life and legacy of one so dedicated to civil rights, excellence and public service in the person of Dr. King,” says Lytle.

Asked what concerns the community needs to address with regard to diversity, inclusion and challenges faced by people of color in Colorado Springs, Lytle says: “We have been challenged for years by low numbers of high-ranking city staff and leaders, by disproportionate police contact and police overreach, and by troubling incidents like the shootings of Jesse Garcia and De’Von Bailey. Colorado Springs seems like a beautiful place in which to live, but it can be ugly depending upon what your ZIP code is and depending on the color of your skin. This would concern Dr. King and should concern us all.”

Loonees Comedy Showcase

Jan. 16, 7 p.m., 1305 N. Academy Blvd., $10,

Have you burned through all the best comedy specials on Netflix? No problem! You can watch incredible live stand-up — and lots of it — right here in Colorado Springs. Loonees Comedy Corner brings you a night of comedy and the opportunity to sample a variety of comedians in one show. The new comedy showcase, headlined by Derrick Stroup, will include 10 different performances. Support a time-tested favorite or discover a new comedian you can’t live without. Tickets are only $10 and the two-item minimum is a breeze to hit without going broke.

  • Courtesy First Friday Fandom

COSine Science Fiction Convention

Jan. 17, 4-11:30 p.m., 2886 S. Circle Drive, $40-$50,

COSine is a con like no other, taking a deep dive into the enchanted realms of science-fiction literature and introducing attendees to the authors who drive their imaginations wild. For three days, attendees will find dozens of unique events tailored to sci-fi readers. Highlights include a panel on the technology of author Robert A. Heinlein; creative roundtables on art; costuming and writing; discussions on navigating the ups and downs of writing scientifically accurate sci-fi; and plenty of lighthearted fun. Saturday will offer an author reception and mass autographing session, as well.

Chinese New Year Celebration

Jan. 18, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 221 E. Kiowa Ave., $5-$6,

The Chinese lunar calendar designates 2020 as the Year of the Earth Rat, and the Colorado Springs Chinese Cultural Institute is welcoming the community to join them in celebration as the welcome the new year. The one-day event is now in its 19th year in the city, and CSCCI has ensured that it is packed with fun activities for families and those interested in learning more about Chinese culture. Attendees can shop Asian wares at the event’s Chinatown, taste different foods from Asian food vendors and sip on tea at the teahouse. There will also be a lion dance, martial arts demonstrations, dancing, singing and games including table tennis.
  • Courtesy CSCCI

Artist Night

Jan. 18, 6 p.m., 5670 N. Academy Blvd., free,

Third Space Coffee gives artists of all mediums a place to roam with its after-hours art night, welcoming creators to share their interpretation of a set theme. The theme for January is “labels,” so if you want to participate, be ready to share what moves you about the term through spoken word, screen, canvas or however you choose to express the idea. There is no obligation to participate as an artist, you’re more than welcome to visit and enjoy the work of others. Arrive before 6 p.m. to secure your favorite beverage before the barista shuts down for the show. Light refreshments will follow the event.
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Wednesday, January 8, 2020

A model railroad celebration and more events this week

Posted By on Wed, Jan 8, 2020 at 1:00 AM

  • Train Expo Colorado

Model Train Show

Jan. 11, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 1710 Briargate Blvd., $7/person, $12/family, free for kids 12 and younger,

America’s relationship with trains has shifted since the first track was laid in 1830, but our love of these giant machines has not diminished. Ask around in your social group and chances are you’ll find at least one person ready to bend your ear about the difference between diesel and steam engines or the location of the first train track in the United States (it was Baltimore, if you were curious). It’s a passion that has cultivated a large community of people devoted to replicating trains and railways in miniature form — model railroading enthusiasts.

Train Expo Colorado chairman Elizabeth Maline says that the hobby is highly accessible to anyone who wants to give it a try, and her organization is all about sharing the love. TECO is offering curiosity-seekers — and existing fans of the hobby — an opportunity to learn all about model railroading at their model train show at the Chapel Hills Mall this weekend.

“We want to encourage interest in the hobby and introduce a family-friendly activity,” says Maline. She notes that while the demographic for model railroading does skew toward older generations, the hobby is growing into other groups. For example, Maline says that Colorado Springs has a Youth in Model Railroading organization and there’s a railroading merit badge available in the Boy Scouts. Events like this weekend’s show are not about passing the torch, though; they’re about expanding the reach of the flame.

The versatility of the hobby leaves a lot of potential for people who are interested in getting started, and attendees at this weekend’s event will be able to explore a variety of constructions, models and scenery.

“A layout can be as simple as connecting track on the floor and running your trains, or expanded to constructing a full-fledged city or western landscape,” says Maline, who notes that it teaches the hobbyist several skills and subjects, like small-scale construction, wiring, scenic design and history.

Attendees can expect numerous model railroad layouts to view, opportunities to chat with creators and several hobby vendors, and clinics on 3D printing and scenery creation. For those more focused on the giant machines that inspire the layouts, there will be historical presentations on the Denver, South Park and Pacific Railway.

Full Moon Kids Night Out

Jan. 10, 5:30-9 p.m., 245 Bear Creek Road, $15-$20,

Want a few hours to yourself Friday evening? Register your kiddos for Bear Creek Nature Center’s Kids Night Out, and everyone can get out of the house and have some fun. For a mere $20 per kid ($15 if you are a member), your offspring will get to participate in a super cool full moon hike in one of the nicest parks in the city. They’ll also get dinner and a chance to play educational games and hang out by the campfire. Meanwhile, you can have a much-needed date night, a quiet shopping trip or a nice long nap. Pre-registration is mandatory.

Butte Theater 2020 Sneak Peek

Jan. 11, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., 139 E. Bennett Ave., free,

Do you love Cripple Creek’s magical mountain theater? The Butte Theater appreciates every bit of your support, and they’re giving you a chance to get to know them a whole lot better at this special open house, complete with coffee and hot cocoa. Learn the inner workings of the theater, plus meet the Thin Air Theatre Company’s executive director Chris Armbrister. Get answers to your top theater questions, find information about upcoming shows, and learn about chances to volunteer.

  • Dragonfly Aerial Company


Jan. 12, 6 p.m., 1226 S. Tejon St., $25,

The incredible abilities of the human body will be on display at the Millibo Art Theatre this weekend with Dragonfly Aerial Company’s performance of Oz. The intimate setting of the small theater gives you an incredible view of the company’s dynamic feats — an experience you just can’t find in acrobatic shows performed in big arenas. Thirteen feature artists and 27 ensemble artists from Dragonfly’s youth and adult performance companies will tell the tale of an exhausted single mom’s journey back to joy in a reinterpretation of The Wizard of Oz. Hoops, bungees, contortion, straps and trapeze work will be featured in this unique, family-friendly show. This performance is one weekend only, so don’t miss out.

American Whiskey Pop Quiz

Jan. 13, 7-9 p.m., 1604 S. Cascade Ave., $40,

Are you a fan of whiskey? Do you think you’ve got a palate fine-tuned to the nuances of the popular spirit? Put your skills to the test at this blind tasting of seven American whiskeys procured from distilleries throughout the United States. While you’re sipping on fancy spirits and hoping to prove your expertise as a whiskey connoisseur, local specialist Brad Beck will share some insights into alcohol so you can up your tasting game to the next level.
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Wednesday, January 1, 2020

15-year-old artist Cody Oldham opens solo show at the MAC, plus more events this week

Posted By on Wed, Jan 1, 2020 at 9:45 AM

  • Cody Oldham

An Untouched World

Opening reception, Jan. 3, 5-8 p.m., on display through February, 513 Manitou Ave.,

Cody Oldham may only be 15 years old, but he’s already making a name for himself in the world of art. His water-based oil landscape and wildlife paintings have been featured in a one-man show at the Paquette Gallery in Salida and on the walls of downtown eatery Red Gravy. This month and next, you can catch his work at the Manitou Art Center’s Hallway & Slam Gallery, where it will hang until the end of February.

Oldham began honing his skills just four years ago, beginning with sculptures of dinosaurs before moving on to painting at age 12. His father, also an artist, encouraged him to embrace his passion, and Oldham began to teach himself basic skills from YouTube videos. He soon connected with his mentor, New Zealand artist Andrew Tischler, who has helped him to grow his craft.

“I live in the mountains and am surrounded by nature,” says Oldham. “Looking out the window in every season inspires me. I’m fortunate enough to live where a variety of 14-ers and other amazing landscapes are a short drive away.” He and his father take frequent hikes together, where Oldham snaps photos for future paintings.

Oldham’s paintings usually depict pristine landscapes, in the sense that they are devoid of humankind’s presence — no roads, no houses. He also enjoys painting wildlife; capturing their true essence challenges him. His process involves sketches from reference photos, blocking on canvas and then filling in the details one section at a time. Working with water-based oils gives him the look of oil with the benefits commonly associated with acrylics, including easy clean-up and less toxicity.

One of Oldham’s goals, besides continuing to distribute his work in various galleries and grow his online business, is to inspire other young artists to pursue their work, regardless of their age.

“Young artists need more support and encouragement now than ever,” says Oldham. “There are so many messages telling young artists that art isn’t a real career, that it’s ‘just a hobby.’ This simply isn’t true. People of all ages have more opportunities than ever these days to create careers that didn’t exist before. There’s never been a better time to be an artist.”

Entrepreneur Boot Camp

Jan. 2, 9-11:30 a.m., 559 E. Pikes Peak Ave., #101, $30,

Getting a business off the ground is not easy, not even in entrepreneur-friendly Colorado Springs. The Small Business Development Center has designed a fast-paced, information-packed boot camp to help you get a true grasp on what it takes to go from idea to reality in owning your own business. Presenter Steve Imke is a small-business specialist who will give you real answers about the hard work required, and tips for a successful journey if you decide entrepreneurship is right for you.

The Gateway Show

Jan. 3, 9:30-11 p.m., 1305 N. Academy Blvd., $10-$30,

If you’re longing for some comedic relief to help you forget that the end of the weekend signals an end to the holidays — or if you just want to celebrate that fact — Loonee’s Comedy Corner has a hell of a Friday night send-off for you. Stand-up comedians hit the stage and share their top-tier jokes. Pretty standard, right? They are then sent to an undisclosed location to get extremely high, the kind of high usually reserved for first-time tourists who eat the whole edible in one sitting. They come back and attempt to perform their craft a second time — “attempt” being the operative word. Get your tickets ahead of time because this event fills up fast and you’ll want a good seat.

Poetry Slam

Jan. 3, 6-9 p.m., 525 N. Cascade Ave., $5-$10, donations welcome,

Poetry 719, Hear, Here! Poetry and The Next Us have teamed up for a stellar poetry event. Get some help with your current verse at a workshop, try out new lines at the open mic, or gather up your courage and sign up for the Spit Slam (rules require that you bring three new, original poems that have never been used in a slam). Whatever poem you use must be at least three minutes long and you can’t use instruments or take your clothes off. If you win the slam, you get a belt, just like a championship boxer, plus a future feature at an upcoming poetry event.

Colorado Springs Fitness Expo

Jan. 4, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 221 E. Kiowa St., free,

The new year inspires people to find a fresh perspective in many areas of their lives, including physical fitness. Inspiration awaits at the 5th Annual Fitness Expo at City Auditorium, where you’ll find health and fitness vendors offering apparel, equipment, memberships and classes to get you started and keep you going after the motivation begins to wane. Even better, the event promises live classes including new trends like hot hula and dance-based options, plus classic favorites like Zumba and trampoline workouts.
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Wednesday, December 25, 2019

A New Year’s Eve roundup and more events this week

Posted By on Wed, Dec 25, 2019 at 1:00 AM

  • Sean Locke Photography /

New Year’s Eve Party Breakdown

All events on Dec. 31

The year 2019 is closing out fast, and it seems like every bar, restaurant and venue in the city is poised to celebrate in epic fashion — as they should be. We are not just ending a year, after all, we are ending a decade. Here are some highlights from the enormous list of parties dominating the calendar on New Year’s Eve.

If you’re the sort that likes to get dolled up in fancy costumes and pretend you’re living in another time, Springs Ensemble Theatre will be hosting a “Roaring Good Times New Year’s Eve” celebration (9 p.m., 1903 E. Cache le Poudre St., $50, with, you guessed it, a 1920s theme complete with cabaret-style entertainment. Guests will be treated to a whiskey tasting, silent auction and fancy hors d’oeuvres, plus a champagne toast and afterparty. Be sure to arrive in your favorite ‘20s attire.

If fringing and flapping like a Prohibitionist into 2020 is not your jam, you can take a trip to the French Quarter for Hotel Eleganté’s Mardi Gras Carnival (1 p.m., 2886 S. Circle Drive, $135, The party will offer seven dance floors, including a silent disco with black lights. You’ll also get to try your hand at craps and roulette and even toss beads off the balcony at the hotel’s own “Bourbon Street.”

Over at Club Q, guests will be able to party until (almost) the break of dawn in an epic bash that includes a variety show, cash balloon drop and an optional pre-party dinner (at 6 p.m., variety show at 8 p.m., 3430 N. Academy Blvd., $10-$30, While most venues around town will be catering to the 21+ set, Club Q is also welcoming those 18 and over to join in on the festivities. If all of that awesomeness is not enough, they’re even serving breakfast at 1 a.m. so you can make it all the way to 4 a.m. when the party officially ends.

Last, but never least, is Jack Quinn’s annual bash (4 p.m., 21 S. Tejon St., With no cover charge and a variety of affordable drinks and eats, it’s the most budget-friendly soirée on the list. In the afternoon, the bar will offer live Irish music that is sure to spark quite a few sing-alongs, plus their usual dinner service and a champagne toast. The evening will feature more live music and a midnight champagne toast to welcome 2020.

TVUnscripted Improv Comedy

Dec. 27, 7:15-9 p.m., 1367 Pecan St., Give! donation,,

Comedians Ryder Tam and Gabe Valdez create a full-length play right before your eyes with nothing more than an audience-submitted title as inspiration — and their exceptional talents, of course. It’s improv on a grand scale, and the show features voluntary audience participation, musical accompaniment and the chance to win cool prizes, too. Admission will cost you a donation to Funky Little Theater Company through the Give! Campaign, so your evening of entertainment ensures that the show will go on at the friendly performing arts nonprofit.

Pertenecer: Chicanx Artists on Belonging

Dec. 28, 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., 30 W. Dale St., $5-$10 admission,

In the brief break between two notoriously busy holidays, enjoy a moment of respite by immersing yourself in the arts. The Fine Arts Center’s newest exhibit combines permanent works and other pieces to create Pertencer, a show that offers viewers a unique insight into the Chicanx experience, telling stories about place and time and tackling topics of immigration and possibility. Nine artists bring to life nine different interpretations of what it means to belong, through pencil, paint, print, sculpture and video.

2019 Didn't Kill Itself

Dec. 28, 8 p.m. to midnight, 124 E. Costilla St., $5,

It’s the last Saturday of 2019 and Bar-K is ready to help you put the past in the ground with a cathartic hip-hop and punk rock party. This 18+ show promises lots of musical entertainment, comedy and memes to help you cast off any gloom accumulated over the last 12 months. Gather up your favorite people and hit the dance floor to kill this year for good so you can enter 2020 with your head held high, ready to kick ass in every facet of your life.

Rescue Run

Jan. 1, 8:30 a.m. to noon, 3650 Maizeland Road, $30-$45,

Not a soul will judge you if you start the year off by sleeping in — but if you’re in the mood, you can also, quite literally, hit the ground running in 2020 at the annual Rescue Run on New Year’s morning. The race starts at 10 a.m. to accommodate those in a more, ahem, delicate condition from partying the evening before, and you have your choice of a 5K or 10K, depending on how ambitious you’re feeling. Proceeds benefit El Paso County Search & Rescue — an all-volunteer crew that donates their time and mountaineering skills to finding lost hikers, assisting with urgent rescues and supporting disaster operations in the community.
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Wednesday, December 18, 2019

An unsilent holiday soundscape and more events this week

Posted By on Wed, Dec 18, 2019 at 1:00 AM

  • Courtesy Phil Kline's Unsilent Night

Phil Kline's Unsilent Night

Dec. 21, 5:30-7 p.m., Bancroft Park, 2408 W. Colorado Ave., free,

Do you still have an old boombox lying around in the garage or serving as a stand for your wireless speaker and smartphone charger? Well dust that puppy off and hoist it up on your shoulder like it’s 1989, because your nostalgia has just found its purpose — to make you a star.
Unsilent Night is an eclectic musical journey unlike any other event you’ll attend this year. It’s a mobile sound sculpture performed on participants’ boomboxes (or those aforementioned smartphones and speakers) synched to play pre-recorded tracks composed by musician Phil Kline.

Attendees can either get their tracks from the organizer in the form of CDs and cassettes, or they can download MP3s of the music ahead of time. It sounds best when played on a tape, as the composition was created in the early 1990s with all the typical challenges of cassette tapes in mind. Plus, CDs tend to skip when you dance, so they might not work well for those who like to shimmy and shake as they jam. However, being that there is a distinct shortage of cassette players and portable CD players these days, it’s okay to play whatever you’ve got.

Choose from four different pieces that are all meant to be played together over a period of about 45 minutes — for the youths out there, that’s the typical length of one side of a cassette. Once you are equipped for maximum boppage, you and your fellow audience members-turned-performers will stroll the streets of Old Colorado City, making music together. Even the routes of the performances — in cities from New York to Seattle to Houston — are cultivated to engage with the composition — different buildings and open spaces create alterations to each person’s perception of the music.

It’s loud, it’s wild and it’s unforgettable. How lucky are we to have a boombox jam parade every year? And the more folks who attend, the more likely it is to continue to weave its way into the fabric of city tradition (this will be its seventh year). It’s also family-friendly, so feel free to bring along your smaller humans and let them dance the night away.

Yule Be Naughty Too

Dec. 19, 7:30 p.m., through Dec. 22, 1626 S. Tejon St., $18-$25,

If you’ve been naughty this year, you’re not alone. There’s a whole team of performers hanging out at the Millibo Art Theatre this weekend who can’t wait to welcome you into their sweet-yet-sassy lair. It’s a holiday cabaret done only as the MAT can do it — with lots of laughs and naughtily nice fun. Enjoy acrobatics, comedy and singing, as well as other surprise antics. This is the show’s last weekend so don’t miss out. You’ll have to wait a whole ’nother year for this kind of holly jolly fun.
  • Courtesy Millibo Art Theatre

End of Year Holiday Space Bash

Dec. 21, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 4425 Arrowswest Drive, two-item food donation and/or $5 suggested donation per person,

Santa may not be coming to town until Christmas Eve, but that hasn’t stopped NORAD from getting a jump on tracking that jolly old elf. Round up the kiddos and head to the Space Foundation Discovery Center where you can watch as Santa makes his way ever closer to town. There will be an ugly sweater contest, some virtual reality experiences, plus all the usual coolness that’s found in a museum devoted to space. There will be an opportunity to 3D print a holiday decoration and meet children’s author Darlina Champers Eichman, too. Military families get in free.

Winter Solstice Trail Social

Dec. 21, 4-7:30 p.m., 3103 W. Colorado Ave., donations welcome,

Don’t stay cooped up inside during the longest night of the year. Venture outside for a winter’s eve filled with adventure. Gather at Trails End Taproom and then take your pick from a hike, intermediate/advanced bike ride or evening run. When you’re all done, you can sip on brews and enjoy some tasty nibbles to refuel. The best part is that when the sun rises in the morning, it will signal the shift to longer days — and warmer outdoor fun — ahead. Dress warm and bring a flashlight. Donations benefit Energy Resource Center, Medicine Wheel Trail Advocates and Rocky Mountain Field Institute.

Secret Dance Party

Dec. 25, 8 p.m. to midnight, 230 Pueblo Ave., free,

Everything is closed on Christmas, right? Well, not the Zodiac. The bar has decided that no one should have to sit at home all night. Two DJs will spin the jams and the bar will be wide open to bring some relief from the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future. Don’t worry that your attendance will force someone to work on a holiday. The Zodiac crew wants to boogie down and chill out just as much as you do — although it wouldn’t hurt to be a merry tipper to thank them for giving you a place to party on the quietest night of the year.
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Wednesday, December 11, 2019

A naughty night at the Modbo and more events this week

Posted By on Wed, Dec 11, 2019 at 1:00 AM

  • Courtesy Modbo

Modbo Ho Ho

Dec. 14, 7 and 9:30 p.m., 17C E. Bijou St., $15, or 633-4240

Amidst the ballets, plays and symphonies filled with wholesome holiday cheer comes an event no less artistic but distinctly naughtier in nature. The beloved Modbo Ho Ho is returning to delight audiences with a refreshing seasonal celebration that doesn’t douse the crowd with saccharine sentiments or socially acceptable content.

“The Ho Ho began 10 years ago in an attempt to entertain people during a season where things get taken much too seriously,” says Modbo owner Lauren Ciborowski. “We wanted to bring some levity and joy to people.”

Audiences can expect a wide variety of performers during the decidedly R-rated evening. Ciborowski explains that the Ho Ho is a musical variety show complete with holiday song parodies, original songs, sketches and a bit of burlesque.

The talent is top-notch as well, pulling the show together within a few rehearsals.
“It adds this awesome air of spontaneity to the whole thing,” Ciborowski explains. “I can only pull it off because my cast is comprised of talented professionals who are willing to just run with things. This year, I even have three performers coming in from across the country.”
Ciborowski promises exceptional artists throughout the evening, but her favorite performance is done by not-quite-a-Saint Nick.

“I have at my disposal a Santa who not only has the voice of a goddamn angel, but who is willing to attempt ‘burlesque’ every year.”

The Ho Ho has been a fan favorite for the last decade largely because of its ability to feel festive without being cloying. However, Ciborowski warns that it’s meant for audiences who don’t take things too seriously.

“We do tend to have over-the-top, offensive humor, so sometimes people are a little shocked — but it’s not because we didn’t warn them.”

Of course, there are also some more poignant moments to be had, with numbers that Ciborowski describes as solemn and lovely. That’s the beauty of the show, really. Despite its irreverence, these are authentic artists with real talent that will absolutely impress the crowd.

The Sound of Music

Dec. 12, 7 p.m., 30 W. Dale St., tickets start at $20, runs through Jan. 12,

While The Sound of Music has nothing to do with Christmas, the timeless story, be it in film or stage form, has become a favorite holiday experience for families. The Fine Arts Center Theatre Company presents a powerful production that tells the story of seven charming children, their stern father and a not-quite nun as they become a family and escape from the perilous invasion of the Nazis. Of course, all your favorite songs will be included, giving you something to hum on the way home.

Art and Beer Book Signing

Dec. 13, 3:30-6 p.m., Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, Museum Gift Shop, 30 W. Dale St.,

Local artist Ceil Horowitz has spent 61/2 years traveling the Rocky Mountains and painting the unique beers of Colorado — 99 of them, to be exact. Her new book Take One Down Pass It Around shares the journey in a collection of colorful paintings, stories and poetry. Each painting was completed on-site and you might recognize quite a few favorite local venues on its pages. In fact, the entire book, from idea to product, was completed right here in Colorado. Get a signed copy or a signed print, plus complimentary beer, wine and hors d’oeuvres, at this signing.

  • Courtesy Holiday Vegan Market 2019

Holiday Vegan Market

Dec. 14, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., 1175 Chapel Hills Drive,

It’s big, it’s local and it’s 100 percent vegan! Peruse 50 unique vendors at this incredible holiday market that offers wares and eats that are completely free of animal products. You’ll find vegan groceries, hygiene products, clothing and candy. Local cookbook authors will be on-site cooking up tasty vegan concoctions, plus indoor food vendors and local food trucks will be there, ready re-fuel shoppers throughout the event. If you’re looking for the perfect gift for the vegan in your life, you’re sure to find it here. Spoil them with great stuff.

Recover the Fun

Dec. 18, 6-8 p.m., 1102 S. 21st St.,

Holidays can make navigating recovery from substance abuse a challenge. Recover the Fun creates safe opportunities for people in recovery and their friends, family and supporters to get out, create connections and build community while working on hands-on projects that foster creativity. December’s event focuses on self-care, and local skin care shop Brazen Bee Beauty will be there helping guests create customized lotions that are luxurious, organic and nourishing. Recover the Fun is an inclusive, supportive event that welcomes everyone, no matter where they are on their path to recovery.

Editor's note: This page has been updated to include the location of the book signing within the Fine Arts Center.
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Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Ormao Dance Company offers a night of multimedia art, plus more events this week

Posted By on Wed, Dec 4, 2019 at 1:00 AM

  • Alberto Leopizzi


Dec. 6-8, 7 p.m., and Dec. 7 and 8, 4 p.m., 10 S. Spruce St., $20-$26,

Immerse yourself in the arts this weekend with Ormao Dance Company’s highly ambitious show, 5-4-3-2-1. The multi-disciplinary performance promises audiences an unforgettable experience that will encompass music, story, art and dance.

“We have chosen to transform our studios into black box theatrical spaces to create a new environment for our patrons to experience modern dance up close,” says Janet Johnson, Ormao executive and artistic director. “Patrons will have a full sensory experience with one studio for the dance performance and one studio for the art installation, and a post-concert reception with beverages and hors d’oeuvres.”

Each performance is limited to just 50 attendees, which Johnson says will create an intimate experience for the audience. The smaller crowd will allow the entire audience to see modern dance up close and truly feel the energy of the dancers as they move through the space.
Ten professional dancers will perform modern and contemporary original works created by Johnson and five other acclaimed choreographers. While the subject conveyed in each dance will be different, all will illustrate the power of dance as a storytelling device.

“We embrace dance as an art form, a celebration of human connection, expression, and diverse life experience,” says Johnson.

The music will be as varied as the evening, including scores from composers such as Antonio Vivaldi, plus catchy and classic tunes from the likes of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. A work titled “3” will even feature a didgeridoo accompanying a dance originally intended to be performed in four different sections to completely different music. The contrast between intention, action and sound should create a dynamic experience.

Artist Wendy Mike’s accompanying art installation will explore the show’s “5-4-3-2-1” theme through a series of vignettes intended to complement the evening’s choreography.

“Whereas the dancers explore this through movement, changing as they carve the space with their bodies, the art presents a kind of still life of each configuration,” says Mike. Her installations and other works have been in multiple Colorado Springs galleries, as well as local indoor climbing gym CityROCK. She says her work to capture the body in motion in three dimensions has made this partnership with Ormao quite natural.

You Look Like! A Comedy Roast Battle

Dec. 5, 6:15-9 p.m., 1305 N. Academy Blvd., $6 and two item minimum,

Want to spice up an otherwise boring Thursday evening? Loonees Comedy Corner is ready to entertain you with a full bar and lots of laughs. During this special event, comedians will go head-to-head in an epic roast battle that ends with one winner who will become the new champion. What is a roast battle? Think of it like a shootout at the O.K. Corral, but with insults instead of pistols. All the comedians are fully informed and ready to rumble so there’s no need to feel bad during particularly epic burns — it’s all part of the game.

Small Works Show

Opening reception, Dec. 6, 5:30-11 p.m., 17B and 17C E. Bijou St., free,
This phenomenal show is stocked with tiny works that pack a big punch of creativity. From floor to ceiling throughout The Modbo and S.P.Q.R. Artspace next door, you’ll find artwork no larger than 18 inches in every dimension that’s ready to be bought and carried home — or to the home of someone you love. Of course, that means you won’t want to dally if you find an exceptional piece of art; the show runs through Jan. 3 but there’s no telling whether another fan might snap it up. With contributions from more than 150 artists and no limitations on the mediums or subject matter, there is sure to be at least one perfect piece to feed your visual soul.

Healing Out Loud

Dec. 8, 6:30 p.m., 1626 S. Tejon St., donation,

The stigma attached to addiction and mental illness can often make those who live with these challenges feel invisible. So their successes as they navigate their recovery are no small feat. Nonprofits Homeward Pikes Peak and the Millibo Art Theatre will honor these individuals with an evening of music, comedy, spoken word, dance and other performances. Prepare to laugh, cry and leave with a new appreciation for the journey to recovery. Proceeds from the evening support Homeward Pikes Peak in its mission to offer supportive housing services for those experiencing homelessness, as well as recovery services for those struggling with addiction.

  • Courtesy Haunted Mines

Holiday House of Horrors

Dec. 13-14, 7-10 p.m., 3910 Palmer Park Blvd., $20,

If you just can’t let the horrors of Halloween rest in peace, there’s a place for you at the Haunted Mines. They won’t make you feel bad that you cheered for the ghosts that visited Ebenezer Scrooge, nor will they dare argue with your belief that Nightmare Before Christmas is both a Halloween and a Christmas flick. They just want to scare your stockings off — and they’ll do a great job of it, too. For two days only, the popular haunted house is decking the halls with Christmas fear in a haunt featuring evil elves, sinister Santa, and the king of scary Christmas lore, Krampus. Disclaimer: A visit will definitely put you on the naughty list.
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Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Christmas This Year celebrates special abilities, plus more events this week

Posted By on Wed, Nov 27, 2019 at 1:00 AM

  • Courtesy of Danielle Schmidt

Christmas This Year

Dec. 5, 7 p.m., Dec. 7, 2 and 6 p.m., Ent Center for the Arts, 5225 N. Nevada Ave., $12-$25,

Local musician Jared Anderson is used to being in the spotlight. His career as a Christian music artist and his calling as a worship leader at New Life Church have given him a healthy amount of time in front of live audiences. During his upcoming variety show Christmas This Year, however, he will perform in a much smaller capacity, ceding the stage to the exceptional talents of Colorado Springs’ dynamic special abilities community.

Anderson was inspired to create the variety show after visiting a school in South Africa called Club 21, which specializes in supporting the education and development of people with Down syndrome. Services for people with disabilities are limited, and many individuals with Down syndrome are placed in schools that do not offer the unique services they need to achieve their fullest potential. Club 21 is the only school in South Africa that provides such specialized support.

Anderson had visited the school to perform for the students. It led to an afternoon of singing, dancing and engaging with the students that truly inspired him. After the event, a colleague remarked that it would be amazing to hold a similar event in Colorado Springs. Anderson agreed. He returned home and he and his wife, Megan, sat down and began to create the program.

Five years later, the show has grown into a beloved event for members of the special abilities community and their families, as well as the community at large. Anderson, his wife and their six children all participate in running the show, and the proceeds benefit Club 21 and local nonprofits for individuals with Down syndrome.

“This show is a celebration of their abilities, as well as a chance to partner in advocacy for people that do not have access to services,” says Anderson.

Attendees can expect an evening of comedy, skits, dances, funny videos and even a unicycle act. Everyone has been hard at work honing their performances and Anderson says audiences are sure to leave the show feeling uplifted.

“These kids and adults are so often spectators at other people’s performances and competitions,” says Anderson. “They cheer on their loved ones and are so supportive. Bringing them into the spotlight to share their own talents is such a joyful experience.”

#OptOutside Night Hike

Nov. 29, 5:30-8 p.m., 1805 N. 30th St., $8,

The state’s largest organized night hike is back to help you #OptOutside of the retail chaos that is Black Friday. Hike Garden of the Gods at night with only glowing markers to guide you. No moon means a particularly dark adventure, so be sure to bring a flashlight — red-tinted lights are highly recommended for maximum enjoyment. This year, the hike has introduced timed entry tickets to ensure that the trails aren’t overly packed. Beyond traipsing the trails, attendees can also meet nocturnal birds of prey and check out the stars using professional-quality telescopes set up by the Colorado Springs Astronomical Society.

Scrap Exchange

Nov. 29, 1-4 p.m., Rockrimmon Library, 832 Village Center Drive,

Every crafter has that stack of unused scrapbooking paper, stray skein of yarn or abandoned jar of glitter cluttering up the creative space with no real purpose. Why not exchange it for something useful — and maybe nurture a little crafting camaraderie with your fellow makers while you’re at it? Bring in clean, gently-used crafting materials to the Who Gives a Scrap supply swap. You’ll exchange your items for tickets that you can then use to “purchase” new-to-you items for all your artistic endeavors. When you’re done collecting supplies and inspiration for your next big creation, you can hop on over to the project table where you’ll find a craft activity with upcycled materials.

Small Business Saturday

Nov. 30, Runs all day long at locations throughout the Pikes Peak region

Give meaningful gifts that support the local economy this holiday season by shopping on Small Business Saturday. This special day has become a popular way to take the focus off the big box stores that tend to dominate holiday sales. Give special attention to the small businesses that contribute directly to their local economies through their tax dollars, philanthropy and support of local makers. Shoppers can expect special sales throughout the city, as well as free parking downtown and visits from Santa in Manitou Springs and Old Colorado City.

Bright Saturday Comedy Show

Nov. 30, 7-9 p.m., Funky Little Theater Company, 1367 Pecan St., $5-$10,

After a week of eating, shopping and family time, Oxymorons Comedy wants to give you a breather with an evening of improv comedy. The locally based troupe prides itself on clean performances that can be enjoyed by everyone without sacrificing any hilarity. That means you’re safe to bring your ultra-conservative uncle, naughtier cousins and eye-rolling teens — like Thanksgiving dinner but, you know, fun. The show includes a raffle for gift certificates to local attractions, restaurants and merchants with proceeds going to support Christmas Unlimited.
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Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Jenny LaJoye opens queer open mic, plus other events this week

Posted By on Wed, Nov 20, 2019 at 1:00 AM

  • Courtesy Jenny LaJoye

Friendsgiving! A Queer Open Mic

Nov. 24, 6:30-9 p.m., 5460 N. Union Blvd., free,

Denver-based singer and songwriter Jenny LaJoye brings their unique folk/pop sound to Colorado Springs for an evening focused on music, friendship, creativity and community. Keep Colorado Springs Queer!, Hear, Hear! Poetry and Finding Home have teamed up to create an unforgettable open mic experience for the Colorado Springs queer community.

LaJoye’s music creates a powerfully positive vibe that connects with the audience across many different levels. Their music aims to remind others of their humanity and turn their gaze to the goodness that lies within them. As LaJoye's bio states, “Everyone is made of the good stuff.”
Their songs often utilize a vocal loop, which allows them to use their own voice to create dynamic sound and beautiful layers of accompaniment. Classically trained in violin and influenced by jazz, musical theater, folk and blues, LaJoye creates music that embraces it all, while still adhering to their own special sound. Their lyrics, thoughtful and sincere, bring it all home.

Their newest album, Alters, has a theological bent, which is fitting considering that Finding Home is one of the co-hosts of this event. Finding Home provides an open-minded, spiritual place for those who feel left behind by organized religion, yet still seek a space to practice their faith — whatever that faith might be. The venue, Grande United Church of Christ, is equally supportive and inclusive, offering another layer of warmth and support to the LGBTQ community.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a true Friendsgiving without good food, so all guests are invited to bring a dish and partake in the pre-show vegan potluck.

The evening will close with a showcase featuring incredibly talented performers from the Colorado Springs queer community. Poets, musicians, comedians, writers and any other performer can take a turn at the mic and shine.

Demystifying Ethnicity Testing

Nov. 21, 2-4 p.m., 20 N. Cascade Ave., free,

The popularity of at-home DNA test kits has boomed in recent years, and the results people have received have caused more than a few surprises, not to mention confusion. Dr. Greg Liverman will help attendees decode the information provided in testing reports with an informative presentation that provides a brief introduction to the science of DNA, explores migration patterns of humanity’s ancient ancestors and helps create a deeper understanding of ethnicity and ancestry. Registration is required for this free event.

  • Kayla Coburn

The Petite Nutcracker

Nov. 22, 10 a.m., 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., 1175 Chapel Hills Drive, $3,

The Nutcracker has long been a staple event of the holiday season. The colorful sets and costumes, and fanciful storyline make it an engaging performance for many kids, but the length and formality isn’t always the best fit for others. In this special show, kiddos will be treated to a performance by the Connexus Dance Collective, followed by a condensed, 20-minute version of The Nutcracker ballet, complete with tutus, music and lots of fun.

Tree Lighting Ceremony

Nov. 23, 4:30-6:30 p.m., Acacia Park, 115 E. Platte Ave.,

Pull your coziest sweater out of winter storage, break out the thermos of cocoa and get ready for all the holiday fun at the city’s annual tree lighting ceremony. This family-friendly event offers fun games, live music and a visit from jolly old Saint Nick to help you kick your holiday spirit into high gear. The event itself is free, but for $10 you can rent some skates and venture out on Acacia Park's outdoor ice rink to make it a truly splendid affair.

Turkey Trot 5K

Nov. 28. Race at 9 a.m., kids’ fun run at 8:15 a.m., Briargate YMCA, 4025 Family Place, $10-$40,

Start your Thanksgiving Day off with an endorphin rush at the Turkey Trot 5K. While this is a chip-timed race with prizes for the top three male and female finishers in each division, the race is also super family-friendly. There’s a free Tiny Trot for littles 12 and under, and if you are so inclined, you can also enter your dog for $15. They’ll get a Turkey Trot bandana (the dog, not the kid), plus a treat. Frankly, it’s worth it for the costumes alone — who knew there was such a variety of turkey hats?
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Wednesday, November 13, 2019

PPCC presents an intimate theater experience with The Wolves, plus other events this week

Posted By on Wed, Nov 13, 2019 at 1:00 AM

  • Sarah Shaver

The Wolves

Nov. 20, 7 p.m., runs through Nov. 24, 5675 S. Academy Blvd., free,

The unfiltered lives of teenage girls play out in Pikes Peak Community College’s production of Sarah DeLappe’s The Wolves. The play, which was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2017, follows nine girls on an American indoor soccer team as they struggle with the massive and minute complexities of their lives and the world at large. Each scene opens as the warm-up to a soccer game, providing the viewer with an intimate insight into the frank conversations that go on between girls when no one is watching.

“I fell in love with this piece,” says director Sarah Shaver. “The script is so interesting in the way it uses parallel conversations.”

She provides an example of this method, describing the opening scene in which characters on one side of the room discuss menstruation and feminine hygiene products while across the stage, a different set of characters discusses the arrest of a murderous dictator.
“It mimics teenage girl conversations in a really exquisite way,” says Shaver.

Shaver also likes that the script has a sizable cast of female characters, a feature that is not always easy to find in popular plays.

“I think the performers are excited to have a significant ensemble role in a piece that is so decidedly feminine,” says Shaver. She also notes an interesting phenomenon that comes with directing an all-female cast — the actors themselves become as unfiltered as their characters.
“Girls uncensored by the presence of a male have a lot of interesting things to say,” says Shafer with a laugh.

In addition to its all-female cast, the play also proved unique in that it required a bit of offstage rehearsal. The actors spent several Saturdays in the park practicing soccer moves for some of the scenes. Many of the cast members are also dancers, so acting out feats of athleticism wasn’t too difficult.

Shaver describes the play as a slice of inner life across a spectrum of different experiences.
“I think everyone should be able to find a little bit of themselves in this.”

The show is offered for free to the community; the theater only requests that attendees bring in nonperishable food or toiletries for the PPCC food pantry. It will also feature shadow American Sign Language interpreting provided by PPCC students for all but the Nov. 22 performance.

Beginner's Capture the Flag

Nov. 14, 6-8 p.m., SecureSet, 523 S. Cascade Ave., free,

Want to flex your fledgling hacking skills or acquire some new ones? Grab your laptop and head over to SecureSet for a Cyber Capture the Flag session developed for beginners in cybersecurity and hacking. Instructors will help you set up your computer and teach you how to navigate the beginner levels before setting you free to test your abilities. Pizza and drinks are included. Registration is required. Read the computer requirements carefully to be sure you’re not stuck playing Solitaire while everyone else has fun.


Rocky Mountain Women's Film Festival Opening Night

Opening night: Nov. 15, 6-10 p.m., CC’s Cornerstone Arts Center, 825 N. Cascade Ave., $50-$185,

Back for its 32nd year, this festival features hours of exceptional cinema that present the diverse experiences of women. The weekend opens with a celebratory cocktail party and a screening of Moonlight Sonata, a powerful memoir about deafness, empathy, loss and strength. Filmmaker Taylor Brodsky will be in attendance during the screening. The rest of the weekend will feature 39 more films shown across five screens at Colorado College. Other activities include a filmmaker forum, an after-dark party with two exclusive film screenings and several filmmaker Q&A sessions.

Swing Dance Wonderland

Nov. 16, 7-10:30 p.m., Dance Wonderland, 2103 N. Weber St., $8-$10,

Give swing dancing a whirl at this friendly and fun party perfect for beginners and experts alike. If you’re new to swing, you can drop in an hour before the party and get a lesson in swing fundamentals for an extra $2. If you’re a master of fancy footwork, skip the lesson and hit the floor at 8 p.m. Feel free to bring a partner, but it’s not necessary. Plenty of people will be delighted to take a turn, even if you’re not all that sure-footed just yet. Dress comfortably and wear shoes with non-marking soles.

Winter Sports and Rec Expo

Nov. 20, 5-8:30 p.m., Ivywild School, 1604 S. Cascade Ave., free,

Winter in Colorado does not signal the end of sports, fitness and outdoor fun. It really just amounts to adding more layers and occasionally upgrading your flip-flops to closed-toed footwear. With that in mind, the Winter Sports and Rec Expo has arrived, ready to connect you with vendors, event organizers, local nonprofits and fellow outdoor enthusiasts. You might even find some indoor rec folks who can help you max out your endorphins when you can’t get outside.
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Wednesday, November 6, 2019

José Olivarez presents poignant poetry at PPLD, plus more events this week

Posted By on Wed, Nov 6, 2019 at 1:00 AM


José Olivarez: Citizen Illegal

Nov. 7, 7-9 p.m., Knights of Columbus Hall, 25 W. Kiowa St., free,

The Pikes Peak Library District has put quite a bit of effort into coaxing talented, popular writers into visiting Colorado Springs. This week’s presentation and poetry reading by award-winning poet José Olivarez is no exception. His latest book of poetry, Citizen Illegal, was named a top book of 2018 by NPR and won the 2018 Chicago Review of Books Poetry Prize. It also happens to be a 2019 All Pikes Peak Reads selection, which is why lucky readers will now get their chance to hear Olivarez share his work in person.

The topic of immigration is constantly a part of the public conversation but the discussion — in the media, in politics and in policy — often marginalizes the real people involved. They become data points instead of human beings. Olivarez’s poetry shares his personal experience as the son of Mexican immigrants, tackling topics like identity and the feeling of being “other” in an autobiography in verse.

Olivarez’s poetry buckles you into the passenger seat and takes you along on a guided tour of his life. Some poems, like “My Parents Fold Like Luggage,” tell of the plight of those seeking a new life in the United States, making readers take in their palpable sense of fear. Others, like “My Therapist Says to Make Friends with Your Monsters,” share thoughts that many people never say out loud. His work offers a frank intimacy regarding body image, his desire to blend in, and his family. The moments in his work that are the hardest to read are often those that connect readers to their own painful or mortifying experiences.

Olivarez will provide a presentation and a reading from Citizen Illegal, and books will be available for purchase at the event.

Mother Courage and Her Children

Nov. 7, 7:30 p.m., Millibo Art Theatre, 1626 S. Tejon St., runs through Nov. 24, $18-$25,
Mother Courage and Her Children will break your heart, crush your soul and leave you wrung out — and it’s totally worth it. Set in the 17th century during Europe’s Thirty Years’ War, the play tells the story of Mother Courage as she struggles to survive but slowly loses everything that matters. This stunning play was written by Bertolt Brecht in 1939 as a response to the rise of fascism and Hitler’s invasion of Poland. Bring tissues.

Bear Creek Bear Run
Nov. 9, 10 a.m., Bear Creek Nature Center, 245 Bear Creek Road, $30-$60,

What kind of race comes with a giant bear suit? Only the best kind, of course. The Bear Creek Bear Run is a totally fun, fuzzy and festive way to support community outdoor education programs. Deck out your already awesome bear suit with fun accessories and enter the costume contest within a costume contest to win cool prizes. If you’re a hibernating sort of bear (or a mom hauling cubs), you can sign up for the 3K fun walk. Still feeling frisky? There’s a 5K run, too. Show up before 9 a.m. and you can enjoy some pre-race bear yoga.

RetCon 2019 Gaming Convention

Nov. 9, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Nov. 10, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Embassy Suites, 7290 Commerce Center Drive, $15-$25,

Whether you’re a former 1980s kid or a recent 1980s convert, RetCon is here to rock your high top Reeboks with a deluge of nostalgia all weekend long. Join in on tabletop gaming, shop cool threads, vintage toys, old video games and rad memorabilia, and check out VHS ’80s flicks. You’ll also get the chance to play your favorite arcade games and pinball machines — for free. That’s right, no need for pockets full of quarters, your childhood dream of infinite play has become a reality. Dig out your old acid-washed denim and spiked leather jackets, or slap on some shoulder pads and tease your bangs as high as the Rockies because this party is going to be, like, totally rad.


Misfits Craft + Art Fair

Nov. 10, 2-8 p.m., Ivywild School, 1604 S. Cascade Ave., free,

Do you have a quirky, funky someone you want to surprise with the perfectly odd gift? The Misfits Craft + Art Fair promises a plethora of bizarre offerings created by local artisans. Explore a variety of unique art, jewelry, vintage apparel and mysterious oddities. Tarot readings will be available, as will delightful eats and face painting. Best of all, it’s in close proximity to spirits of a drinkable nature — no reports yet on the availability of ethereal ones. Despite its more macabre theme, the organizers say it’s family-friendly, so feel free to bring your small humans, especially the weird ones.
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Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Artist Sheary Clough Suiter sets up a disturbing dollhouse at The Bridge Gallery, plus more events this week

Posted By on Wed, Oct 30, 2019 at 1:00 AM

  • Sheary Clough Suiter

I Never Played With Dolls

Opening reception, Nov. 1, 5-8 p.m.; on display through Nov. 30, The Bridge Gallery, 218 W. Colorado Ave., free,

Encaustic artist Sheary Clough Suiter is mum on whether she truly never played with dolls as a child, but there is no question she has played with them extensively for her upcoming show. After more than two decades of creating beautiful artwork, Suiter engaged in what she calls “relentless play,” forging a new, darker path for her creativity accompanied by plastic baby dolls and a desire to disturb.

“Dolls are equated with childish play and imagination. It’s the part of us that thinks we will live forever and that anything is possible,” says Suiter. “Yet dolls out of context can be quite creepy and I play with that juxtaposition of delight versus danger.”

Suiter’s exhibition will showcase the results of her play. She says that no idea was considered off-limits during her exploration — she desired work that would inspire surprise and conversation, as well as a sense of unease. To facilitate the latter, her opening night will include an interactive experience with a living doll that will engage — silently — with guests throughout the evening.

Actor and activist Julia Greene, who just finished performing in the Fine Arts Center’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, will wander the gallery bedecked in a doll costume. Suiter believes Greene’s presence will enhance the feelings of discomfort her pieces tend to inspire. Greene agrees.

“The very nature of a doll is that they are inanimate,” says Greene. “The title of the character ‘living doll’ is antithetical to itself and that makes it uncanny and disturbing.”

Both women have kept the final execution of their vision for the living doll persona under wraps but note that the finished piece will challenge the social gender constructs that begin in infancy and evolve as we reach adulthood. Suiter also hints that Greene’s face could be made to resemble that of a baby doll — think plastic aesthetic, hairless head and artificial mouth. While the final result remains a mystery, what is clear is that Greene will be yet another work of eerie art amongst good, if far more inanimate, company.

While the living doll will only be present during opening night, plenty of non-living dolls will remain on display through the month of November. Those who want a deeper dive into the mind behind Suiter’s peculiar playground can also attend an artist Q&A on Thursday, Nov. 21, from 6 to 7 p.m.

Jewel of a Wine Tasting

Nov. 1, 6:30-9 p.m., Norris Penrose Event Center, 1045 Lower Gold Camp Road, $65-$75,

Teen Court is a restorative justice program run by teens for teens with a powerful record of reducing recidivism. You can help support their mission — now in its 25th year — at their annual wine tasting party. Sip samples of incredible wines from 15 vendors and enjoy a delicious meal while mingling with fellow vino enthusiasts. Purchase a commemorative glass for $25 and you’ll automatically be entered in a drawing for a piece of beautiful jewelry. Bottles of wine will also be available for purchase during the event.

Veterans Day Parade

Nov. 2, 10 a.m., Tejon Street, free,

Veterans Day might fall on a Monday this year, but the Colorado Springs parade always falls on a Saturday to ensure everyone in the community can celebrate the contributions of our service members. Attendees can expect an enormous lineup featuring marching bands, veterans organizations and other patriotic displays. Refreshments and activities will be available along the route and most of the local shops will be open for business. This year, the event will honor veterans service organizations — those who support others long after they have completed their service. Bundle up, snag a thermos of cocoa or cider and get ready to cheer your heart out for our nation’s veterans.

African Marketplace and Cultural Festival

Nov. 2, noon to 4 p.m., Hillside Community Center, 925 S. Institute St., free,

Check out an amazing array of unique African crafts, clothing and art at this family-friendly festival. You’ll learn about the diverse cultures that make up the African continent while enjoying live entertainment provided by spoken-word artists, poets and African dancers and drummers. For those who make all decisions to attend events based solely on the available food, both Jamaican and Sudanese items will be available for purchase and we can promise you that you do not want to miss out on that.


Nov. 5, 6-7:30 p.m., Bear Creek Nature Center, 245 Bear Creek Road, free,

Have you ever pondered the world of taxidermy and the people who practice it? The Rocky Mountain Women’s Film Festival is offering a free screening of Stuffed, a documentary that explores the fascinating people who create lifelike sculptures from the dead. Director Erin Derham’s vivid depiction of a subject that is often viewed with disgust or fear forces viewers to confront their preconceived notions about the craft and its practitioners. While the screening is free, please register in advance to ensure adequate seating is provided.
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Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Manitou Springs ghost tours partner with THEATREdART, plus more events this week

Posted By and on Wed, Oct 23, 2019 at 1:00 AM

  • Alissa Smith

“Ghost Stories of Old Manitou” Walking Tours

Tours start at 6 p.m., Oct. 25 and 5:30 p.m., Oct. 26, leaving every 15 minutes until 9:15 p.m.; start at the Manitou Springs Heritage Center, 517 Manitou Ave., $12-$15,

Though the Manitou Springs Heritage Center’s mission is to preserve the town’s culture and history, the nonprofit certainly isn’t opposed to changing things up a little bit when it comes to their own traditions — such as the fun they’re planning to have with the 25th annual “Ghost Stories of Old Manitou” Walking Tours.

“You know, this is our 25th year. And for the last 24 years, [the actors have] been whoever we’ve been able to, you know, arm-twist into playing characters and spirit guides and so forth,” says Neale Minch, a Heritage Center board member. But audience feedback from previous years suggested that it would be nice to see them “step up” the acting a bit.

The Center decided to do just that, and employed local theater group THEATREdART to help bring the town’s historic dead to life.

“There’s around half a dozen or so locations, and each is a scene,” Minch says. “And each tour group has what we call a ‘spirit guide,’ who sets the scene up, and the scene is a story about a character — maybe embellished — from Manitou’s past.” In spite of the embellishments, Minch says the scenes are “as factual as we have facts for.”

Characters of note include famous suffragette Alice Paul, hotel owner Charles Barker (of the long-defunct Barker House) and of course Emma Crawford, the young Manitou Springs woman who died of tuberculosis in 1891, in honor of whom the Emma Crawford Coffin Races are held each year.

Directed by TdA’s Jonathan Andujar, these seven short stories of Manitou’s history feature about 15 actors, plus a whole host of spirit guides.

Minch believes this will be the best production in the tours’ history, and hopefully the start of an enduring partnership between the two organizations.

Science Riot

Oct. 25, 7:30 p.m., Ivywild School, 1604 S. Cascade Ave., $15,

Science professionals dive headfirst into the terrifying pond of stand-up comedy in this evening of educational hilarity. After a speedy introductory course in the art of stand-up, scientists craft a brief routine related to their field or subject of interest and perform it live before an audience. No topic is taboo, whether it tackles the strange mating habits of animals — or humans — or the hidden humor of mathematics. Speaking of which, science is frequently a far racier topic than one might think; the show is for ages 18 and older.

Pumpkin Carving and Jack-O-Lantern Trail

  • Courtesy Fountain Creek Nature Center
Oct. 26, 9 a.m. to noon and 5:30-7:30 p.m., 320 Peppergrass Lane, Fountain, $5 for pumpkins, $4-$5 for trail,

With mere days left until Halloween, it’s time to frantically pack in as many festivities as possible before the winter holidays take over. Fountain Creek Nature Center is providing double the fun, with two pumpkin-themed parties. In the morning, pre-scooped pumpkins await, along with patterns and carving tools. In the evening, dress up in costume and head back to the center to take a jaunt down Jack-o’-Lantern trail. You’ll encounter your pumpkin and dozens of others all lit up for a delightfully spooky walk. You and the kiddos can make a cool craft, roast marshmallows, and even take your pumpkin home after 7:30 p.m.

Rampart Rager Gravel Fondo

Oct. 27. Registration, 6 a.m., race starts at 8 a.m., Buffalo Lodge Bicycle Resort, 2 El Paso Blvd., $55,

Ready to test your limits as a cyclist on some of the Pikes Peak region’s most incredible roads and trails? The Rampart Rager is described as “brutally fun” by organizers, and judging from the 73-mile course option with an estimated two hours of uphill time on the front end, they are not exaggerating. Despite its intensity, the race is sure to wow participants with panoramic views and provide a bit of exhilarating respite during the downhill spurts. For those who desire a slightly less grueling ride, there is also a 30-mile option and absolutely no one will judge you for taking it. Chip-timed race with age group awards and cash awards for first through third place.

  • Courtesy Rampart Rager

Mayor's Young Leader Awards

Oct. 29, 4-6 p.m., Ent Center for the Arts, 5225 N. Nevada Ave.,, $34.75,

Join the community in celebrating the achievements of the region’s top young professionals — folks under 40 making a difference in Colorado Springs. Each year, 30 finalists are selected for their work across six different categories, ranging from community and economic impact to technology and sustainability. This year also features a brand-new category recognizing military leadership. The award ceremony opens with a networking session.
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Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Black History Museum celebrates 10th anniversary, plus more local fests and fun

Posted By on Wed, Oct 16, 2019 at 1:00 AM


Black History Museum 10th Anniversary

Oct. 19. Tours, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Black History Museum, 1620 W. Bijou St.; party 6-8:30 p.m., Knights of Columbus Hall, 25 W. Kiowa St., $20-$25,

The city of Colorado Springs is packed with innovative museums devoted to education and history — sometimes discovered in unexpected places. The Black History Museum can be found in one such spot, neatly ensconced in the Westside Community Center, where it has spent 10 years sharing the incredible contributions made by black Americans to the growth and success of Colorado and the Pikes Peak region. This weekend, they’re inviting the community to two events to celebrate their anniversary and create awareness about their mission.

While the museum has been in its current location for a decade, founder Candice McKnight and the African-American Historical and Genealogical Society of Colorado Springs (AAHGSCS) have been curating the collection for far longer. The society, as it exists today, was once two entities — the Negro Historical Society founded in 1981 and the Genealogical Society founded in 2000. In 2006, they merged a combined 38 years of experience into the AAHGS.

“It is so important to keep our history alive,” says McKnight. “We cannot let it die out over time.” McKnight and other volunteers lead workshops on genealogy in the community to help people learn about their family history. McKnight says that genealogy and history go hand-in-hand and both are necessary to create a real picture of someone’s ancestry.

The first part of the anniversary celebration is an open house with tours, led by the knowledgeable and enthusiastic McKnight. While the museum is not large, it manages to pack a lot of information into a space that was once, quite fittingly, a classroom. McKnight says the museum has more than 2,000 books devoted to black history, in addition to many other displays.

“I am so passionate about genealogy and history,” says McKnight. “I am very serious about what I do and the purpose it serves.”

One display is centered on Colorado Springs’ police officers, including Ron Stallworth, the black officer who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan in the ’70s. The contributions of Colorado Springs black firemen are featured as well. Other displays tout the accomplishments of black pioneers like the Buffalo Soldiers, an all-black military regiment that was instrumental in settling the new frontier, and the Tuskegee Airmen, the country’s first black aviators, credited with flying more than 15,000 sorties in World War II.

In the evening, guests will be treated to a party complete with food and wine at Knights of Columbus Hall near the Penrose Library downtown. KKTV’s James Brown will be the guest DJ, and booths dedicated to history and genealogy will be set up for attendees to ask questions. Proceeds benefit the museum and the AAHGSCS.

Visitors who cannot attend the event can visit the museum Tuesday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and by appointment on Mondays and Fridays.


Oct. 17, 7:30 p.m., dates and times vary through Oct. 27, Ent Center for the Arts, 5225 N. Nevada Ave., $20-$47,

Interweaving two different timelines, one static set and a whole lot of science, Arcadia creates a dynamic story that envelops the viewer in a world of dichotomy — and parallels. In the past, precocious teen genius Thomasina ponders chaos theory and thermodynamics while bantering with her tutor. In the present, a group of scholars works to solve the mystery of the hermit of Sidley Park. Part comedy and part tragedy, with a bit of love thrown in for good measure, Arcadia offers a unique, engaging theater experience. And if all that doesn’t sway you, maybe the content advisory will seal the deal: “occasional British swearing, attraction, offstage duels, rabbit pistols, and lots of math.”


Culture Fest

Oct. 18, 5:30-8 p.m. Cheyenne Mountain Library, 1785 S. Eighth St.,

One of the coolest things about living in a land of many cultures is getting to experience the differences that make us all unique. The Cheyenne Mountain Library welcomes the community to a celebration of the diversity of the Pikes Peak region. The evening will open with a chance to sample foods and beverages from other countries. After that, the vibrant, colorful Ballet Folklorico de Barajas will perform traditional Mexican dance. A table offering henna art and craft projects will be open throughout the event. At the close of the evening, attendees will hear immigration stories from the library district’s adult education students.


Peak Environment Podfest

Oct. 19, noon to 4 p.m., Stargazers Theatre and Event Center, 10 S. Parkside Drive, free,

The Colorado Springs community is growing rapidly, creating concerns around the city’s environmental future. Local podcast collective Studio 809 is hosting three panel discussions on relevant topics, including groundwater contamination, supporting local food, and the city’s energy future. Sen. Pete Lee will be in attendance as a moderator for the discussion on groundwater contaminants found throughout the region. All three panels will be recorded and shared online. Settle in for a powerful discussion on the environmental future of Colorado Springs.

NAMI Community Night

Oct. 23, 4-7 p.m. NAMI Colorado Springs, 1615 S. Murray Blvd., free,
Local nonprofit National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) reports that one in five people will face a mental illness in their lifetime. It’s important for those who are struggling — and the people who love them — to know where they can find support when times are tough. Join the NAMI crew for an informal, friendly community night filled with good food, fall festivities and great music. You’ll meet some of NAMI’s partners in community wellness and learn about the resources available for those struggling with mental illness. While you’re there, you can also check out their new space.

Editor's note: The Peak Environment Podfest blurb has been updated to exclude a line about food, which will be available at the theater. We regret the error.
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